The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre
First Edition   ©2009

The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre

A Brief History with Documents

Barbara B. Diefendorf

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-41360-2; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-41360-6; Format: Paper Text, 174 pages

A riveting account of the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, its origins, and its aftermath, this volume by Barbara B. Diefendorf introduces students to the most notorious episode in France’s sixteenth century civil and religious wars and an event of lasting historical importance. The murder of thousands of French Protestants by Catholics in August 1572 influenced not only the subsequent course of France’s civil wars and state building, but also patterns of international alliance and long-standing cultural values across Europe. The book begins with an introduction that explores the political and religious context for the massacre and traces the course of the massacre and its aftermath. The featured documents offer a rich array of sources on the conflict — including royal edicts, popular songs, polemics, eyewitness accounts, memoirs, paintings, and engravings — to enable students to explore the massacre, the nature of church-state relations, the moral responsibility of secular and religious authorities, and the origins and consequences of religious persecution and intolerance in this period. Useful pedagogic aids include headnotes and gloss notes to the documents, a list of major figures, a chronology of key events, questions for consideration, a selected bibliography, and an index.
"I strongly recommend this volume to anyone teaching a course on the Reformation or the Wars of Religion. It does a better job than any textbook or document reader that I know of explaining to students why ordinary law-abiding people could kill their neighbors in the name of religion."
— Mack Holt, George Mason University